If you happen to be in the market for a new car, one thing you may not have considered is what type of engine you want for your vehicle. Typically, passenger cars use regular petrol as their fuel, but more and more manufacturers are offering models with diesel engines. While you may associate diesel with humongous tractor trailers, having this type of engine in a standard car offers several benefits.
Diesel vs. petrol engines: pros
The main benefit of diesel compared to petrol engines is that they are more efficient. On a molecular level, diesel is a more energy dense fuel and wastes less of that energy in the form of heat. What does that mean for you? All else being equal, this translates to roughly 25-30% better fuel economy in a diesel car, which will get you quite a bit further on the carriageway between fill-ups.
Even though diesel fuel is about the same price as standard petrol, and the price may increase faster due to increasing demand, to cancel out the superior fuel economy, the price of diesel would need to be at least 25% more expensive than petrol. This isn’t likely to happen during the lifetime of your next car.
Another benefit is that you may find yourself having to do fewer car repairs on a diesel. Firstly, they are missing some components found in other cars, like sparkplugs. You’ll still need some basic replacement parts for maintenance purposes, like air filters, oil filters and fuel filters. But diesel engines are more durable and typically last much longer than petrol engines before they need to be repaired or replaced – in some instances, up to 900,000 miles!
Other benefits more torque and towing power, and while they might not be jackrabbits, they are usually faster from a standing start compared to petrol cars.
Diesel vs. petrol engines: cons
That being said, it isn’t all good news. The main issue with diesel cars from an auto repair point of view is that their engines are more complex than petrol engines. This means that it will be more difficult to learn how to do some do-it-yourself car repairs, and also that you may have to pay more for professional repairs at the garage if something goes wrong.
With a diesel, you especially need to make sure you aren’t neglecting regular maintenance, or the fuel injection system will be prone to malfunction. As with most things, automobiles included, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Other than that, it’s just a matter of fuel costs feeling as if they are more expensive. But as we said before, so long as the price of diesel is no more than 25% more expensive than petrol, you’ll come out on top with a diesel in terms of fuel economy, power and durability.